|IFP CNG Prius|
IFP (Institut Français du Pétrole) is presenting a CNG-electric hybrid prototype vehicle based on the Toyota Prius at this Challenge Bibendum, running in Paris from 8-12 June 2006. IFP co-developed the CNG Prius with Gaz de France (GDF).
The use of CNG as a fuel for the engine drops the carbon dioxide emissions for the Prius below 80g/km, according to IFP—about half those of a conventional vehicle in that weight class (1,300 kg), and more than 20% below the standard Prius carbon dioxide emissions of 104 g/km.
The prototype is a single-fuel vehicle. The IFP-Gaz de France team replaced the original gasoline tank with a 22-liter natural gas tank made of composite materials. The engineers repaced the gasoline injectors with a manifold and natural gas injectors, and installed high- and low-pressure natural gas lines. A dedicated engine control system manages the injection time.
Gaz de France and IFP have worked together on other natural-gas-powered vehicles, including a Smart demonstrator developed in 2004, which featured a downsized engine and ran on natural gas alone. The collaborators are now developing a Smart natural gas hybrid prototype as well.
IFP also developed the natural-gas engine used in the CLEVER urban micro-car project. (Earlier post.)
The IFP-GDF prototype is the second CNG Prius prototype to appear at a major international event this year. In March two West Swiss natural gas companies—Holdigaz SA and Gaznat SA—displayed a stock Toyota Prius retrofit with a natural gas fuel system at the Geneva auto show. (Earlier post.)